GUM DISEASE AT SMILES4OC, COSTA MESA
Gum disease is the general term for bacterial infection in the mouth. It can be detrimental to a smile’s overall health. At Smiles4OC, our dentists, including Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes, are committed to helping patients avoid the development of gum disease, including all stages from gingivitis to periodontitis. Costa Mesa, CA area patients are welcome to learn about this and many other conditions that can affect the smile by making an appointment at Smiels4OC.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Often referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease affects the health of the smile. This infection develops due to poor oral hygiene and can have a permanent and negative effect on one’s overall smile. As it develops, it becomes more severe and difficult to address. Many patients may experience what is called the “oral systemic connection,” where the bacteria in the mouth carries through the blood and can affect other organs. The infection can spread and put patients at risk of a variety of medical conditions and secondary infections as described later. We encourage patients to take diligent care of their teeth and gums to avoid the development of this condition in the first place, as it can have lifelong consequences. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes educate patients on this and other dental conditions that need to be diagnosed as early as possible for proper intervention.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUM DISEASE
It begins with gingivitis; inflammation of the gums. Your gums may bleed when you brush or floss. They may look unhealthy – red, purple, or swollen. And they may be somewhat painful.
Advanced infection is called periodontitis. At this stage, it has spread to the bones of your jaw which support your teeth. Bone loss from gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. It can have serious overall systemic health consequences, as well. Uncontrolled bacterial infection is linked to secondary infections, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Gum disease may prevent you from undergoing a necessary surgical procedure due to potential healing implications.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Anyone can get gum disease, and some individuals are genetically predisposed to it. Luckily, it can be prevented and treated. Prevention starts with proper oral health care habits at home between dental visits. Poor oral hygiene – failure to brush and floss properly – will result in deposits of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky biofilm composed of food debris, mucus, and bacteria. If not brushed away, it dries to calculus or tartar. Tartar builds up at the gum line and causes further inflammation. Regular visits to the dentist for cleanings are critical to remove tartar and will keep the gums healthy. During these evaluations, other conditions can be monitored, including the development of cavities which may form on surfaces of the teeth. Cavities and periodontal disease are both preventable conditions. Therefore, visiting the dentist every six months for cleanings and evaluations is the best way to maintain a healthy smile for life!
PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASE
It is easier, and less uncomfortable to prevent gum disease than to treat it. Prevention is the best way to avoid associated systemic health risks. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes are trained in the latest methods to get gum disease under control and prevent its spread. At our practice, we have a variety of treatment options that can be used, and they are chosen based on the stage the condition has reached. For some patients, a thorough cleaning can be performed, or scaling and root planing may be considered. We also offer laser dentistry during which we can target bacteria and treat the issue with this amazing technology. For patients who have a severe infection, we may also apply or prescribe antibiotics to be taken to reduce the bacteria and give an extra boost for faster results in treatment. During the initial evaluation and diagnosis, our team will assess the best possible method of treatment for a patient based on many factors and work with individuals to develop a plan to control the condition.
HOW TO TREAT GUM DISEASE
We begin with a thorough examination, cleaning, and X-rays to determine the extent of the disease. We use state-of-the-art laser procedures to sterilize the debris-filled pockets around the roots of the teeth and stop the bleeding gums. This process is virtually painless.
We will send you home with instructions on daily oral hygiene, which may include an anti-microbial mouth rinse like Peridex® (a chlorhexidine compound available only from your dental professional) to manage further bacterial growth. We will continue to take care of you and have you back for periodic appointments to monitor your well-being. We typically want to see patients who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease more often than just twice a year until the condition is controlled. We work with patients to develop a treatment plan that includes services and routine recall appointments to keep track of the progress patients are achieving.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE
The team at Smiles4OC, including Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes, believe in providing quality, comprehensive dental care to patients in and around the area of Costa Mesa, California. We welcome patients to book an appointment with our staff to learn about ways to achieve better oral health and wellness and maintain the results for life. Contact the team by calling (714) 557-0700
today and visit the practice conveniently located in Suite J at 1530 Baker Street. Our practice is equipped with the latest technologies and a highly trained staff to ensure the best dental care in the area! If you believe you have gum disease or are interested in avoiding its development, call Smiles4OC today to start making a change!